Shōmei Tōmatsu: Chewing Gum and Chocolate

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Black & White, Classic, Photobook

Shōmei Tōmatsu, one of Japan’s foremost twentieth-century photographers, created one of the defining portraits of postwar Japan.


„Beginning in the late 1950s, Tomatsu committed to photographing as many of the American military bases in Japan as possible. Tomatsu’s photographs focused on the seismic impact of the American victory and occupation: uniformed American soldiers carousing in red-light districts with Japanese women; foreign children at play in seedy landscapes, home to American forces; and the emerging protest formed in response to the ongoing American military presence. He originally named this series Occupation, but later retitled it Chewing Gum and Chocolate to reflect the handouts given to Japanese kids by the soldiers—sugary and addictive, but ultimately lacking in nutritional value.“

Shōmei Tōmatsu (1930 – 2012) war führendes Mitglied der Agentur Vivo. Er nahm an der bahnbrechenden Ausstellung New Japanese Photography 1974 im MoMA, New York, teil.

“Ich kann die Besatzung weder verteufeln noch sie gut finden”, sagte Shōmei Tōmatsu (1930-2012). Der Fotograf war 15 Jahre alt, als die Atombombe auf Nagasaki fiel und die Zeit der amerikanischen Besatzung begann. In seiner Fotoreihe Chewing Gum and Chocolate dokumentiert er den Zwiespalt einer Nachkriegsgeneration, für die japanische Tradition ebenso zum Alltag gehörte wie Coca Cola und Kaugummi.“


Please note: All images and texts are protected by Copyright and belong to the Artist.


  • Kehrer Verlag
  • Mai 2014
  • Halbleineneinband: 224 Seiten
  • 125 Duplexabbildungen
  • 24,1 x 29 cm

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